Qualitative Evaluation of α-Synuclein - A Critical Step in Unraveling the Complexities of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Med Princ Pract. 2022 Oct 29. doi: 10.1159/000527728. Online ahead of print.


α-synuclein is a widely studied biomarker in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and neurodegenerative diseases (termed synucleinopathies), including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLBs), and multiple system atrophy. There are conflicting reports on the levels of α-synuclein in children with ASD compared to normal matched controls, with some reporting increased plasma levels and others decreased levels. Al-Mazidi, S., et al have reported that plasma Levels of α-synuclein in ASD is an indicator of disease severity. We go a step further in extrapolating that it is more important to qualitatively evaluate the α-synuclein based on its conformation for better understanding of disease mechanisms and planning treatment strategies. This is inferred from studies that have reported increase in plasma levels of α-synuclein in ASD after supplementation with beta glucans with beneficial effects on sleep and behaviour pattern in these children.

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